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Using a virtual reality cricket simulator to explore the effects of pressure, competition anxiety on batting performance in cricket

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posted on 2023-09-13, 13:07 authored by Niall KellyNiall Kelly, James Stafford, Cathy Craig, Matthew HerringMatthew Herring, Mark CampbellMark Campbell

Virtual reality (VR) has created opportunities to innovatively re-imagine the way we examine the relations between pressure, competition anxiety and performance. This study aimed to determine the efficacy of VR as a means of measuring the effects of competition anxiety when pressure manipulations are applied while participants bat in a cricket batting VR simulator. The twenty-eight male participants who took part in two experiments were divided into a high (14, mean age: 22.94, SD: 5.4) and a low skill group (14; mean age: 23.55, SD: 9.9). The aim of the first experiment was to validate the VR simulator as a tool that could capture differences in batting performance between a high and low skilled group. The results showed that high skill participants not only scored significantly higher run rates than low skill participants, but they outperformed the low skill group in all performance measures including higher incidences of correct foot placements that reflect better anticipatory responses. Having established the VR batting simulator as being a reliable tool for capturing batting dynamics, experiment 2 aimed to explore the effects of a pressure manipulation on competition anxiety and batting performance. All measures of competition anxiety were significantly greater for both groups in the high-pressure condition compared to the two low-pressure conditions (p < 0.001). The magnitude of this effect was greater in the low skill group for cognitive (0.59) and somatic (0.794) anxiety. Despite anxiety levels significantly increasing in the high-pressure condition, no significant negative changes to batting performance were found for either group, with both groups actually demonstrating performance improvements. Overall, the findings show how a cricket batting virtual reality simulator can be used as a tool to measure the effects of pressure on competition anxiety and batting performance in tasks involving dynamic skill execution.



Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 2022, 63, 102244




This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Psychology of Sport and Exercise. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 2022, 63, 102244,

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